The Paris Bourse is quietly heading for a new record close, with a margin of around 15 points as the CAC40 (+0.55%) climbs to 8,195, just 0.3% off its all-time intraday record.
Trading volumes were once again derisory, with 1.3 billion euros exchanged in 8 hours of trading.
The Euro-Stoxx50 (+0.4%) climbed back up to the 5,000 mark, and a closing high of 5,001 at 5.35pm seems well on the way.
The day got off to a good start with the Nikkei (+0.6%) back above the 40,000-point mark: Japanese traders gave an unemotional welcome to the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) decision to normalize its monetary policy by raising its key rate for the 1st time in 17 years, in the face of resurgent inflation and rising wage tensions in the country.
By a large majority, the BoJ Committee decided to put an end to 8 years of negative interest rates, opting for a key rate of between 0% and 0.1%, instead of -0.1%.
Since the start of the year, the Nikkei has gained almost 19%, on a par with the American "Magnificent Seven" and the great European "Grannolas" (GSK, Roche, ASML, Nestlé, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, L'Oréal, LVMH, Astrazeneca, SAP and Sanofi).

On Wall Street, US indices consolidated Monday's rise, with the Dow Jones gaining 0.5% and the S&P500 holding steady.
The Nasdaq-100 is down -0.5% in the wake of AMD (-6.5%), Marvell (-4%) and Nvidia (-2%).

In the US, both housing starts and building permits were up in February, according to statistics from the Commerce Department.
Housing starts rebounded by 10.3% last month to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 1,521,000, a much stronger recovery than expected.

The number of building permits issued in February rose by 1.9% to an annualized rate of 1,518,000, again exceeding financial market expectations.
Economists were expecting a rebound in both statistics in February, after January's unfavorable weather had weighed heavily on the residential construction sector.

Investors are now hoping that the US Federal Reserve will adopt a similarly reassuring tone at the end of its two-day meeting, which starts today.

However, some observers fear that the US central bank is preparing the ground for only two rate cuts this year, whereas it had previously expected three.

In view of the healthy state of the US economy, the money markets now rate a rate cut in June with only a 50.7% probability, according to the FedWatch barometer.

In the end, the first rate cut may not take place until the third quarter, a far cry from the initial projections of investors, who at the start of the year were hoping for a reduction in the cost of money as early as March.

"And it is perhaps this situation that could push equity markets to consolidate a little", warns Alexandre Baradez, Head of Market Analysis at IG France.

In Europe, Germany's ZEW business climate index rose for the 8th month in a row: the indicator gained 11.8 points between February and March 2023 to stand at 31.7 points, its highest level for 12 months.

"Economic conditions in Germany are fragile, so it will be interesting to see if things have changed in March before the PMI indices are published on Thursday", explains Danske Bank.

On the bond front, Bunds are easing 2.438%, while our OATs are erasing -1.5Pt to 2.8750%.
US T-Bonds are easing -3.2Pts to 4.308%, erasing their losses of the previous day.
On the FOREX, the Dollar is still clawing back a few fractions (+0.2% against the Euro, which is retreating to $1.0850).
Oil is continuing its rally and is now testing $87.8 in London (Brent) and $83 on the NYMEX (WTI).
Gold is not following suit and remains stuck at $2,155.

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